You would think that creating happiness online would be simple. However, often, users abandon their search because the website fails to deliver.
How difficult can it be? All you need to do is sell your product and supply the user with the relevant information. But, there are many ways to approach the effectiveness of your website and increase your users’ happiness.
Happiness online, in many ways, imitates our happiness offline. It’s formed on feelings of freedom and trust. Happiness can indeed mean many different things to different people. However, scientists have observed patterns and similarities among people all across the globe. For most, happiness often includes being around family and friends, practising positive thinking, connecting with people and most importantly, freedom of choice. These points may seem very detached from the role of a UX designer, but we can have a significant impact on some of these areas through considered design.
It often seems like an enormous task to understand people in all their complexity and tap into the hidden insights and potential possibilities. But, it’s worth all the effort – user’s who leave an experience with a happy feeling will help to strengthen future positive actions. You know yourself when you keep returning to a website or community that it’s not the persuasive marketing campaigns that make you come back nor is it the colour of the interface, but it is the positive emotional connection you had.
“Designing happiness means creating experiences that produce lasting positive emotion” Pamela Pavliscak
It’s about the user’s feelings
Now you can relate to what I mean by an emotional connection; you will realise it is the impact of happiness which correlates with a high likelihood to recommend that particular product or service. User experience needs to support a holistic approach. People don’t remember the colour of a button or a specific snippet of text. They remember the feeling they carry with them.
Below are four viewpoints that designers need to respect to help form happy user experiences.
Don’t over complicate anything
If the user doesn’t understand the product or service you offer, I guarantee you will be saying bye-bye to them within seconds. A design must be simple because this will empower the user to feel a sense of controlled freedom and satisfaction.
Notably, since GDPR was introduced to the web, users have become more cautious. However, trust is more than just privacy settings. E-commerce websites are continuously trying to build customer trust both pre and post-purchase – secure payment methods, reliable delivery services, responsive customer care teams etc.
Design for happiness
As a designer, I am passionate about seeing a well-executed interface design. However, most people are not influenced by this – it is not easy to accept at first, but you must understand the more emotions people associate with experience, the happier they will be.
Create a community
Users want to feel connected to a brand or product. Social media has warped businesses into thinking a connection is the number of likes on a post. However, the user wants a personalised touch, a presence and a sense of appreciation.
Do you focus on the positive responses?
Positive, happy online experiences provoke positive responses. Both you and I know that leaving an experience with a happy feeling has a significant impact on future behaviour – you would be more likely to recommend the product or service, talk about it to your friends or share it on social media.
To create happiness through online experiences, we need to focus on the small features that transform the bigger goals. Sooner rather than later, you should re-think the platforms we are using to measure happiness – the interaction with facebook likes, and comments are often passing visits that don’t address the deep emotional connection.
The emotions that people have while using the site are what they carry away with them. Happy people engage more deeply in the website and are more likely to return.
User expectations are higher than ever before, and digital has given them the ability to verbalise their frustrations. As designers, we need to emphasise the four viewpoints listed above in every feature to help create a holistic and happy user experience.